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18th Battalion "Durham Pals" Memorial
18th Battalion 'Durham Pals' Memorial
The 18th Battalion "Durham Pals' now have a Seat as a Memorial to the Battalion within the shadow of the Thiepval monument at the Somme.

The Seat which has the name of the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry wrought on the seat was unveiled on Monday the 19th September 2016.

The funding of this memorial was raised by a number of Durham organisations including the Northern Echo, the County Council, the DLI Trustees, Durham Cathedral, and Durham University. Honorary Colonel James Ramsbotham, also a DLI Trustee, said "We wanted to make sure the Durham Pals were also commemorated and a public appeal has paid for this memorial and an identical seat will be in place in Durham later this week."

A party of 30 DLI veterans and their families attended Monday's ceremony.

"It means everything to us" said Major Chris Lawton, the Rifles Regimental Company secretary - the successor organisation to the DLI Association. "Our own County Durham Pals battalion, which was not recognised at the end of the First World War, is finally commemorated. I hope thus is just the beginning and in time we shall get a full stone memorial to them".

The leader of the Somme Regional Council, Laurent Somon, said "The unveiling of the bench takes on a very special meaning during the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme. The bench here mirrors its English twin in Durham and is a metaphor for the unique Franco-Brittanic friendship which links us together."

Source : Chris Lloyd Durham Advertiser 24th September 2016.

See NEWMP ref D47.159.